Posted inMusic

Package Tour

INSECTS OF ROCK: FRANKLIN BRUNO, COBRA VERDE, PRISONSHAKE, GUIDED BY VOICES LOUNGE AX, JULY 9 Rock ‘n’ roll package tours are usually celebrations of bigness. Even their names ripple like flexed financial muscle: Lollapalooza, H.O.R.D.E., the Monsters of Rock. The tours are suitable playgrounds for the lumbering dinosaurs that inhabit them. Strictly lowest-common-denominator affairs, they […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Jazz Ensemble

The current jazz climate’s strong emphasis on the music’s past has fostered a batch of jazz repertory orchestras, with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble emerging as the genre’s Brigadoon: it reappears every so often after long absences. Directed by William Russo, the respected composer who runs the music department at Columbia College, the CJE’s current program […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

With a handful of new tunes, cowritten by Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna, Joan Jett’s not just a chick with an electric guitar anymore–now she’s got an electric ax to grind. Although Jett’s hard-edged, stripped-down adolescent rock ‘n’ roll has changed little since her days in the Runaways, current tastes for simplicity and honesty have brought […]

Posted inFilm

Obscured Object of Desire

**** POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL (Masterpiece) Directed by Andy Warhol With Edie Sedgwick and the voice of Chuck Wein. In 1965 some friends and I started a film society at MIT. We showed many “underground” or “experimental” movies by filmmakers such as Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, and Andy Warhol, who were just starting to attract […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Out of Sight

“I don’t know if America is ready for a blind girl who isn’t a goody-two-shoes,” warns Diane Starin in an early scene from this hour-and-a-half docu-bio. Out of Sight (1993) belongs to the new wave of PBS-supported documentaries that matter-of-factly chronicle the everyday life of the handicapped, warts and all. Starin, who lost her eyesight […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Rock vs. Jock

Dear Reader, It was with great annoyance, and little amusement, that I read Bill Wyman’s latest volley in the continuing juvenile pissing contest between himself and Rick Telander (“Bad Sports II,” Hitsville, June 24). Shame Bill’s tongue, fat with promise. Telander’s piece on Kurt Cobain’s death was pretentious and misguided; Wyman’s initial response [Hitsville, May […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Succeeding as much for what it hides in its music as for what it shows, this San Francisco trio has quietly made a pair of the most intriguing records I’ve heard in the last few years. Recorded in a huge warehouse in the rough area of their city known as Tenderloin, Swell’s music reflects its […]